By Alex Jensen
South Korean President Moon Jae-in maintained Friday that his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un is serious about change, despite concerns that the North is not taking its denuclearization agreements with Seoul and Washington seriously.
Drawing on his two meetings with the North's leader, Moon said during a lecture while visiting Singapore that "Chairman Kim has a great desire to break away from ideological confrontations and develop North Korea into a normal country."
"We must create a chance for North Korea to fulfill its role as a responsible member of the international community," he was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.
Hours earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that "great progress" was being made with the North, while posting images of a letter from Chairman Kim expressing optimism for their future ties.
However, American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned from negotiations in Pyongyang last week without any clear denuclearization plan, and North Korea also delayed talks with the U.S. that were expected to take place Thursday.
Following criticisms that Seoul and Washington have already conceded too much to the North by suspending military drills, Moon insisted that "corresponding measures" by South Korea and the U.S. could help speed up Pyongyang's denuclearization.
He also emphasized that sanctions would only be removed after North Korea completely abandons its nukes.